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Onset complexity and task conflict in the Stroop task.

Parris, B. A., Hasshim, N., Ferrand, L. and Augustinova, M., 2023. Onset complexity and task conflict in the Stroop task. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. (In Press)

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parris-et-al-2023-express-onset-complexity-and-task-conflict-in-the-stroop-task.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


DOI: 10.1177/17470218231214515


The present study examined the extent to which a key marker of task conflict, negative facilitation, is modified by onset complexity. Negative facilitation, slower RTs to congruent stimuli than to non-lexical neutral stimuli in the Stroop task, is thought to reflect competition between the task sets of colour naming and word reading in the Stroop task (also known as task conflict). That is, it reflects competition between whole task sets, over and above any competition between specific responses associated with a stimulus. An alternative account of negative facilitation argues that it reflects the specific phonological processing differences between pronounceable (e.g., congruent) and non-pronounceable (e.g., xxxx) stimuli that are magnified by the specific task contexts that produce negative facilitation (a mostly non-lexical trial context). Here we used onset complexity to manipulate pronounceability of the irrelevant words in the Stroop task to test this alternative account. However, before applying manipulations that produce negative facilitation, we initially tested whether there was an effect of onset complexity on Stroop task performance. The results from Experiment 1 (and 3) showed that complex onsets led to larger positive facilitation and congruency effects relative to simple onsets, but did not modify incongruent or neutral word RTs. Experiment 2 directly tested whether onset complexity modifies negative facilitation and provided strong evidence for no effect of onset complexity, contrary to the alternative account predictions. The implications of the results for task conflict theory, selective attention and phonological processing in the manual response Stroop task are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Manual response; Onset; Stroop task; Task set
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:39174
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:22 Nov 2023 12:13
Last Modified:23 Nov 2023 11:28


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